The MENA Effie Thought Leadership Program makes a comeback this year with the theme of Emotion and Automation.
Hosted in the heart of Dubai at Roxy Cinemas, City Walk, MENA Effie’s annual Thought Leadership Program hosted an exclusive roster of speakers and professors to discuss the new equations for marketing effectiveness in the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Keynote addresses, panel discussions, and fishbowl chats were hosted across three different cinemas and the audience was an inclusive mix of industry leaders and specialists, across the media, marketing, and advertising roadmap of the region.
The event kickstarted with keynote sessions split across the three different cinema rooms.
Deep Knowledge Group’s VP for Communications, Baha Al Hamadi kicked off the event with an address that explained the many ways in which evolving technology continues to change us, our connections, and our ways of communicating with each other. Hamadi also touched base on the many negative consequences and the ethical conflicts of AI and machine learning that marketers, tech specialists, and even brands need to be aware of before testing something new.
Another jam-packed dual keynote session addressed by Ihab El Yaman, CEO, and Co-Founder at MEMob+ Technologies, and Luis Crespo, Co-Founder at Geodata discussed Web3, blockchain, and NFTs. Keeping the session informative yet evidently intelligible, both Yaman and Crespo shed light on how brands and agencies can apply these concepts to traditional marketing methodologies.
Adjacently, Theos Evgeniou, Professor of decision sciences and technology management at INSEAD, demystified AI. With data science-based techniques and methodologies changing the routine of work and play on a day-to-day basis, the AI market is meant to soar. In his session, Evgeniou answered the following questions:
The final keynote address was delivered by the CEO for VMLY&R Commerce, Nick Walsh. The acceleration of e-commerce across the globe has been at the core of most marketing and brand discussions. As challenges and opportunities are not limited to online channels, an always-on creative commerce mindset should be adopted. Walsh explained the concept of creative commerce and its implications for advertising and marketing means.
In the era of Metaverse, virtual reality, and infinite applications of machine learning in the form of AI and Deep Learning, it is impossible for professionals to make use of manual, survey-based approaches to stay on top of the sea of flowing data online. This has led to a growing fear of data misuse and for the past few years, data privacy has been at the center of the tech conversation, driven by the public backlash, new regulations, and the resulting critical steps taken by big players such as Google and Apple. The first-panel discussion with Ihab El Yaman, Fiona Robertson, General Counsel at OSN, and Mathieu Yarak, Group Senior Director – Data & Insights at Choueiri Group discussed how brands can navigate these choppy waters and manage to ensure data-centric efficiency while retaining the trust of their audiences.
A second-panel discussion moderated by our very own Nathalie Bontems, Editor-in-Chief at Communicate discussed the why and how of personalization in the age of AI. The discussion with Ziad Chehade, Head of Business Marketing from Google, Asad ur Rehman, Director of Media, and Digital Hubs across MENA, Turkey & Russia for Unilever, and Melhem Najem, CMO at Stellantis discussed how technology can be human-first and the ways in which brands and agencies can use it to connect with their audiences at a human-level first.
Brandripplr’s CEO and Founder, Tanaz Dizadji then engaged the audience in a compelling chat about how influencers may or may not be the last human connection in the tech world. In an engaging debate Dizadji raised the following questions:
The event closed off with another fishbowl chat with Tiktok’s Annie Arsane, Head of Platform Strategy for GBS METAP about the one tech paradox that’s been existing silently: consumers can't live with technology but they also can't live without it. Arsane walks audiences through the lifestyle and decodes the strategy to crack it: bring back the fun and create a positive, emotional human experience.